How can a company keep its employees happy enough to stick around?

It seems obvious that employees will be more engaged at work if they know they can grow rather than feel like they’re constantly hitting their heads on the ceiling.

Potential for growth is important to employees. And not just financial growth, either. There are many ways your company can offer growth opportunities–and some of them don’t cost a dime.

In an article for Forbes, Victor Lipman lists four types of growth opportunities you can use to engage your employees:

This is the one most people consider when they think about career development. Naturally, employees will be motivated by the possibility of increased income, especially when it’s tied to their performance.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking that money is the only way to keep your staff happy. If you don’t have the funds (or like the competitive atmosphere that performance-based compensation can create), consider offering other forms of growth.

Don’t underestimate the power of prestige. Even if they’re not part of a big corporation, most driven individuals will still want to move up in the ranks of their organization. So offer them various opportunities to do so–more significant duties, more impressive job titles, bigger offices, etc.

If they’re serious about their work, employees will want to improve in their field. In fact, most employees in this study rated training opportunities as highly important career benefits, with job-specific training at the top (54%). The best part about providing opportunities for professional growth is that it is mutually beneficial–employees get to feel more competent, and employers get to have more competent employees!

Take advantage of this arrangement by offering ways for employees to sharpen their skills and knowledge, such as conferences, mentoring programs, online courses, or even tuition reimbursement.

While it may seem like personal growth has nothing to do with career development, many employees are motivated by factors that are completely unrelated to work.

With the increasingly blurred line between private and professional lives, it makes sense to encourage employees to pursue their personal goals. Do this by allowing flexible work schedules, the freedom to work remotely, and social gatherings outside of work. Lipman says that “peer praise” and a “fun work environment” are also good motivators, especially for those a little lower on the totem pole.


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